Whatever Happened To Gregg Araki?

The 90s and early 2000s was a major era for Gregg Araki  I would like to refer to it as the Araki Indie Era of cinema.  Seriously.  Gregg Araki was one of the most innovative independent filmmakers of that time and although he doesn't have a lengthy body of work like other big Hollywood filmmakers his are the most notable. The first Gregg Araki film I ever saw was this crazy trippy film called Nowhere.  It starred a large cast of talent from actors like Christina Applegate, Rachel True, Ryan Philippe, and Heather Graham.  The film illustrated the lives of Los Angeles teens in this crazy interconnected web of crazy behavior from hardcore boozing to wild ménage à trois.

Araki apparently has a thing for ménage à trois, because in his 1995 film The Doom Generation there was a steamy scene with Rose McGowan, Johnathon Schaech, and James Duvall.  The film about three drifters who get off on robbing quickie marts.  It was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Rose McGowan's performance.    In the 2004 film Mysterious Skin, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (aka JGL), about a male prostitute, JGL managed to cross over to indie big screen cinema from the small screen (remember 3rd Rock From The Sun?).  Mysterious Skin received a number of jury awards at various film festivals and critically acclaimed by members of both the Hollywood and indie film communities.

There were a few other films Gregg Araki made but after Mysterious Skin he sort of fell off the indie circuit and just completely off the Hollywood radar.  What happened?  Has Gregg run out of material?  Has audiences grown tired of watching teen angst films?  Or movies about teenage rebellion and kids getting involved in activities that would make any parent's skin crawl?  Maybe not---but we do know Gregg needs to make a super comeback.  Perhaps cast Justin Beiber in one of his films...that would really get under some "mysterious" skins there...Beiber in an Araki directed film...the thought is cringe-worthy at best.

SEEN O' The Day: Reservoir Dogs

A personal indieseen favorite, the script for the film Reservoir Dogs was written in 3 days.  1992 was the year of the indie and Tarantino made his mark as a film genius when he released this film.  There are so many great moments in this film and the memorable quotes are enough to fill a book.  The opening scene of this film takes place in a diner and Mr. Pink played by the great Steve Buscemi doesn't like to tip.  Here's his philosophy on why does doesn't like tipping.

Warning:  This scene is NSFW (not safe for work)

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is an annual international event dedicated to the theatrical exhibition of non-fiction cinema. Each spring Full Frame welcomes filmmakers and film lovers from around the world to historic downtown Durham, North Carolina for a four-day, morning to midnight array of over 100 films as well as discussions, panels, and southern hospitality. Set within a four-block radius, the intimate festival landscape fosters community and conversation between filmmakers, film professionals and the public.

You can help contribute before the end of the year to help the festival continue to be an artful impact on the local film community and bring together real non-fiction films to the limelight in all its glory.  If you want to attend the 2012 festival, mark the dates below on your calendar!

January 5 / Passes On Sale / Full Frame Website

January 18 / Full Frame Winter Series #1 / Carolina Theatre in Durham

January 25 / Full Frame Winter Series #2 / Carolina Theatre in Durham

February 1 / Full Frame Winter Series #3 / Carolina Theatre in Durham

March 22 / 2012 Film Schedule Announced / Full Frame Website

April 2 / Advance Tickets On Sale / Full Frame Website

April 12-15, 2012 / 15th Annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival / Downtown Durham

We Like This Guy...

Stephen Graham as "Al Capone" from Boardwalk Empire

Remember the movie Snatch?  You know the off-beat British comedy that featured an incredible ensemble of talent which is considered one of the best heist films of all time?  Well there's a guy in the film who played the role of Tommy by actor Stephen Graham and I gotta say...we like this guy.  Tommy was a little dim-witted and weak, but adorable at best.  He tried to prove himself with a gun who could barely fire, but we still liked the guy.

According to IMDB, Graham actually didn't even audition for the role of Tommy in Snatch.  He accompanied a friend of his to the audition and the film's director, Guy Ritchie, liked his face.  He does have a pretty distinct look that is great on celluloid.  Prior to Snatch the bulk of Graham's work was on the small screen on shows that aired on the BBC.  In 2002 he appeared in Martin Scorsese's Gangs Of New York.  His career sort of hit a bit of a plateau but in 2011 it was Stephen's year.  He got the role in the blockbuster hit Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and he can be seen every Sunday night on HBO next season in the award-winning TV series Boardwalk Empire playing the role of the infamous Al Capone.  He plays the role so well you wouldn't think twice that he's a Liverpool native born and raised with a thick English accent.

His career is definitely going toward an upward motion and be on the lookout for more from this new talent.  He's about to be a household name very soon...and because we like him, we think you'll like him too.

6 Film Production Jobs You've Probably Never Heard Of...

1. What is a Pipeline Supervisor?

The Pipeline Supervisor directly manages the technology aspects of the film or show, overseeing the configuration of the production pipeline and enhancing facility wide performance for a given production.

2. What is Legal Counsel?

Although legal counsel is a term more familiar on Law & Order in the film world it is an actual crew position on a production.  Entertainment Lawyers negotiate contracts, clear licensing rights for any intellectual property used in the film, obtain tax credits from local governments, and take care of immigration paperwork when cast and/or crew cross international borders to shoot on location.

3. What is an Illustrator?  

Someone who illustrates things??  Well, kinda.  The Illustrator draws or paints visual representations of the designs to communicate the ideas imagined by the Production Designer.

4. What is a Buyer?

We've heard the job title of a buyer in the fashion industry but in film??  The Buyer works with the Set Decorator. The Buyer locates, and then purchases or rents the set dressing

5. What is a Greensman?

Yea this one got us too...have you ever seen a "Greensman" listed in the film credits?  The Greensman is a specialized Set Dresser dealing with the artistic arrangement or landscape design of plant material, sometimes real and sometimes artificial, and usually a combination of both. Depending on the scope of the greens work in a film, the Greensman may report to the Art Director or may report directly to the Production Designer. If a significant amount of greens work is required in a film, then the Greens may be an identifiable sub-department, with its own team - often of a size numbering double figures - and hierarchy (eg. Greensmaster, Greens Supervisor, Foreperson, Leading Hand, Laborers). Specialists from other areas of the Art Dept. (eg. Fabricators, Sculptors, Painters/Scenics) may also be drafted to work exclusively on Greens.

6. What is an Art Finisher?

What goes up must come down right?  Well that's the job of an Art Finisher.  An Art Finisher, or Breakdown Artist, may be employed during the pre-production setup to break down garments. This specialized job includes making new clothing appear dirty, faded and worn.

William Brooks: An Indie Filmmaker

 William Brooks is a graduate from the Art Institute of Charlotte with a bachelor’s degree in digital film and video production. Some of his work has been selected in local student film festivals as well as showcases in the Charlotte community. He has experience in all types of video work including short films, music videos, commercials, short documentaries, and television. He is cofounder of a small production company with two of his friends called Envy Pictures. His main passion for filmmaking is telling stories that create emotions for audiences while giving them an escape from their normal lives.

The Modest Truth is a short film about a 12-year-old boy named Daniel Ferris Jr. and his struggle to overcome physical weakness in order to impress his father and build their relationship back to normal. The story takes place in the 1960's where family is the most important aspect of any household but Daniel Jr and his father find it difficult to remedy. Daniel Jr finds that he has to put away his childhood and begin exercising in order to gain back his father's love.

For more information about The Modest Truth please visit


Trailer  for The Modest Truth

The Modest Truth Trailer #1 from William Brooks on Vimeo.


'The Modest Truth' Montage from Isiah Donte' Lee on Vimeo.

A Christmas Wish

Lawrence "LAW" Watford is Brooklyn based filmmaker. He began producing movies as a film student at Regent University in Virgina Beach and In since then has been actively engaged in the craft of filmmaking. Law works on major feature films and episodic television shows, while producing independently under the Lawville Solutions banner. In 2005 he wrote and directed "A Christmas Wish", which starred James Avery (‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’), and most recent "The Mourning After," the story of two people who survived the 9/11 tragedy as a result of an illicit affair.

His film A Christmas Wish tells the story of a man whom one year af­ter his wife's Christ­mas Eve mur­der, he is on the brink of sui­cide.  He is ap­proached by a stranger who con­vinces him that he can re­unite his wife. Asia ac­cepts the deal, on­ly to dis­cov­er the catch: He must re­live the day of her death over and over again in or­der to be with her.

A Christmas Wish from Lawrence Watford on Vimeo.

Rare Exports

Charlotte, NC-- RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE, on December 19th. This screening will also air on a Monday night at 7:30 PM at CAROLINA CROWNPOINT CINEMAS. It’s the eve of Christmas in northern Finland and an archeological dig has just unearthed the real Santa Clause. But this particular Santa isn’t the one you want coming to town. When all the local children begin mysteriously disappearing, young Pietari and his father Rauno, a reindeer hunter by trade, capture the mythological being and attempt to sell Santa to the misguided leader of a multinational corporation sponsoring the dig. Santa’s elves, however, will stop at nothing to free their fearless leader from captivity.  For more information about screenings, press information, movie times and ticket cost, contact Brandon Falls at 704.807.0435, pr@backalleyfilmseries.org or visit us on Facebook (@backalleyfilmseries) and Twitter (@backalleyfilm). You can also learn more about The BACK ALLEY FILM SERIES by visiting our website at www.backalleyfilmseries.com

The Charlotte Film Society is a non-profit organization that has been in screening diverse foreign, art house and independent films to the Charlotte community since 1982. The society’s mission is to bring alternative, interesting, unique and fun films to Charlotte that would otherwise not play (or haven't played) in the area at the local multiplex. Annual memberships are $10 and you can learn more at www.charlottefilmsociety.org or via email charlottefilmsociety@gmail.com.

Drag Him Out!

Tripp Green (DP) and Chase Kliber (talent stand-in)

 Chase Kliber is the writer, director, and (somewhat reluctant) producer of a new short film entitled DRAG HIM OUT! The story follows a revered bounty hunter who is called in to extract a high-value target from a crumbling building. The stylistic love-child of anime classic Cowboy Bebop and the entire filmography of Sergio Leone, the film has some intense action sequences sandwiched between some moody and tense character moments. The production team are currently fundraising for a 4-night shoot in early January, 2012.

Chase Kliber is a recent graduate of the UNCW film studies program. Jumping immediately onto the new Showtime series Homeland, he survived the entire season as Assistant Art Department Coordinator, wrapping just in time to follow his short doc on laughter yoga (Laugh, And Love Life) presented at the Cucalorus film festival. He has been developing DRAG HIM OUT! ever since.

For more info about the film and how tou can support DRAG HIM OUT!  Check out the film's Kickstarter link HERE